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How I Found the Urantia Book—NANCY BROWN (1977) 

 IN AUGUST OF 1977, I found myself facing the hardest decision of my life. Out of the blue, my ex-husband invited my precious eight-year-old son, Christian, to move to Seattle with him and start a new school year there.

Chris’s dad and I had been divorced six years. Two years previously he had left our hometown outside of Chicago to take a new job in Washington. Chris hadn’t seen his dad since and I knew he wanted to go. After two weeks of prayer, agonizing and talking to a child psychologist, I reluctantly agreed to a trial arrangement for a year. Somewhere in my heart, I knew Chris needed to be with his dad. I will never forget the day I took my little son to the airport and watched him, tears streaming down my face, fly away to his new life.

I immediately fell into a depression after he left. Christian was my only child and I loved him dearly. I loved being his mom and I sorely missed him in my life. At night, I would toss and turn in my bed, unable to sleep. I was plagued with disturbing images of life and wondered what living on earth was all about. I felt nothing but pain and anguish inside of me. I was beginning to see the world as evil, with little patches of light on an otherwise dark and foreboding landscape. I was slowly becoming engulfed by all the bleakness and I would cry out loud to God for help. Where was he in all my pain? Where were the answers I was so desperately seeking?

Shortly after Christian left, I began dating a young man named John. John appeared suddenly in my life, and disappeared almost as quickly. John was a free spirit who never stayed in one place very long. During our short time together, he and I would have long talks about life. I’m sure that he sensed my confusion and growing negative outlook. Before John left on his next adventure, he bestowed upon me three Carlos Castaneda books and the Urantia Book. I devoured A Yaqui Way of Knowledge, A Separate Reality and Journey to Ixtlan. These three books began to turn my life around; they taught me that everything in life is one’s perception: Change your perception, change your life.

In the meantime, the oversized blue Urantia Book sat on my mantel in the living room where I had set it the day I brought it home months before. One day, I found the flap from the torn-off dust jacket sitting inside the cover of the book and grabbed it to take to work with me. At some point during the day I picked it up and read the most astounding words I had ever seen: “Your world, Urantia, is one of many similar inhabited planets which comprise the local universe of Nebadon. This universe, together with similar creations, makes up the superuniverse of Orvonton from whose capital, Uversa, our commission hails.” Something stirred inside me as nothing had before. I felt that excitement of discovery that literally quickens the spirit. It was the most feeling I had experienced since my son had left—perhaps since he was born.

That night, at home, I eagerly flipped the book open for the first time and read these words: “As you view the world, remember that the black patches of evil which you see are shown against a white background of ultimate good. You do not view merely white patches of good which show up miserably against a black background of evil.” I couldn’t believe my eyes! The very image that had plagued my mind for months was being addressed in this strange book. I felt that someone or something understood me to the depth of my being.

Christian came home the following summer, and although it had not been an easy year for any of us, he liked his new environment, new school and new friends. Once it was decided that he would go back to Seattle, this became a way of life for our family—the school year with his father, the summer with me.

After Chris went back, I moved to Chicago and found myself living a few blocks from 533 Diversey Parkway. I began to attend Sunday study groups at the Foundation headquarters and didn’t miss a Sunday for many years. In 1987 I moved to Door County, Wisconsin, and opened a metaphysical bookstore called Star Gazer so that I would have the opportunity to share these teachings with others. I still own this store today [2000].

In 1991, Christian was home with me in Door County before starting his senior year at Washington State University. In the early morning hours of August 14, my precious and most loved son was killed in a car accident. That night, as I stood under a black sky filled with little white specks of starlight, I held the Urantia Book in my hands fully intending to destroy it. Something within stopped me. Instead, I held my book over my heart as tears streamed down my face. I closed my eyes and watched my son fly away to his new life.

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